People sitting in citypark Rotterdam
People sitting in citypark Rotterdam
Photo: © Iris van den Broek via NBTC Beeldbank
Category:Greener cities

Best city parks in the Netherlands

A peaceful green oasis and a haven for many. The city park is an indispensable part of any Dutch city; Amsterdam alone has around 50. Spoiled for choice, we’ve chosen 10 that we think are definitely worth a visit.

1. Vondelpark, Amsterdam

By far the most well-known park in the Netherlands. Vondelpark attracts millions of visitors every year and is loved by Amsterdam locals and tourists alike. In addition to lots of lovely greenery and water, there are also a number of cozy cafes and restaurants. In the summer, you can enjoy free concerts and performances at the famous Open Air Theatre.

2. Sonsbeekpark, Arnhem

A city park in the Netherlands with actual hills? The remarkably hilly terrain of Park Sonsbeek originated during the Ice Age. There’s a beautiful view over Arnhem and even a real waterfall. The park is particularly famous for its Steile Tuin (Steep Garden) and is within walking distance of Arnhem Centraal railway station.

3. Dakpark, Rotterdam

Rotterdam also has a ‘high level’ of green space. The Dakpark is located on a nine-meter high roof and overlooks the city and the harbor. In the summer, visitors love to cool off at the water staircase feature and enjoy sledding down the ramps in the winter. Dakpark’s Buurttuin community garden includes farm animals and is maintained by volunteers and local residents.

4. Park Haarlemmerhout, Haarlem

There is a lot to choose from in the Haarlemmerhout. In addition to a park with petting zoo, there’s also the oldest urban forest in the Netherlands. A walk here really gives you the feeling that you have left the city far behind. Finish with a drink at the teahouse and enjoy the view of the deer park and the historic Welgelegen pavilion.

5. Máximapark, Utrecht

Big, bigger, biggest. The surface area of Máxima Park is equal to the entire city center of Utrecht. You can spend the whole day enjoying the various attractions such as a butterfly garden, a forest playground and a Japanese garden. The park is surrounded by a wide, car-free paved road where you can walk and cycle to your heart's content.

6. Stadspark, Maastricht

It’s a walk through history. This is the best way to describe a visit to the City Park, with its fortifications and centuries-old city walls. Enjoy works of art, animals and unusual trees as you stroll along riverside paths. The park is made up of six different mini-parks, so there’s plenty to see and do during a fun day out.

7. Prinsentuin, Leeuwarden

One of the oldest parks in the Netherlands. Stretching along the Noordelijke Stadsgracht canal, the Prinsentuin has been freely accessible to the public since 1795. Enjoy the atmosphere with the passing boats and the marina. In the summer, you can dance to the music of the Prinsentuin concerts held on Sunday afternoons.

8. Paleistuin, Den Haag

A hidden gem with royal ambiance. Not everyone knows this, but the former back garden of Noordeinde Palace is freely accessible. You can visit the Palace Garden every day and stroll along the pretty lawns with flowers and water features. Tip: use the 'secret' entrance on the Molenstraat, where you still have to ring the bell in the old-fashioned way.

9. Park Valkenberg, Breda

From private castle garden to public city park. Until 1812, Valkenberg was part of the Castle of Breda and falconry was practiced here. Now it’s a place where students and families can rest by the pond or under the centuries-old trees. The many free-roaming chickens and rabbits contribute to a charming, relaxed atmosphere.

10. Park Frankendael, Amsterdam

Once a country estate far from the city, it has since been swallowed up by Amsterdam. Step through the gate at Frankendael Park and immediately find yourself in a tranquil oasis. The park centers around the stately Huize Frankendael, where cultural events are often held. The three hectares of land surrounding the house include historic gardens and even a marsh.

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